Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 49.39
Liaison Lynn Stoddard
Submission Date Dec. 31, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Eastern Connecticut State University
PA-6: Support for Underrepresented Groups

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.92 / 3.00 Torin Radicioni
Environmental Intern
Institute for Sustainable Energy
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Does the institution have a publicly posted non-discrimination statement? :
Yes

The non-discrimination statement, including the website URL where the policy is publicly accessible:

Continuing Notice of Nondiscrimination
Eastern Connecticut State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religious creed, age, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, marital status, ancestry, present or past history of mental disorder, learning disability or physical disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, genetic information or criminal record.
Visit the statement page for key contacts: http://www.easternct.edu/nondiscrimination/


Does the institution have a discrimination response protocol or committee (sometimes called a bias response team) to respond to and support those who have experienced or witnessed a bias incident, act of discrimination or hate crime?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s discrimination response protocol or team (including examples of actions taken during the previous three years):

Policies and procedures for addressing discrimination are listed on our website. The Office of Equity and Diversity responds to formal complaints with a timetable of completing a written report within 90 days. Copies of the report are provided for the complainant, respondent, and University (President).

On our page, here: http://www.easternct.edu/equityanddiversity/discrimination-and-sexual-harassment/ , we define discrimination and sexual harassment, provide key contacts, and outline our bias response procedures.

Here's an excerpt from our discrimination response protocol:
'Complaints against University Employees: Complaints of discrimination or sexual harassment may be filed with the Office of Equity and Diversity.
Individuals may also seek guidance from the Office of Equity and Diversity on problem-solving strategies that may lead to resolution without filing a complaint.Complaints may be pursued by the University on an informal or formal basis. An informal resolution consists of mediation between the complainant and the respondent(s), and may not include a full investigation.
A formal complaint requires a complete and full investigation of the complainant’s allegations by the Office of Equity and Diversity and the filing of a written report, consisting of findings and recommendations, with the University President. A formal investigation may be commenced when the parties have failed to agree upon an informal resolution. In determining whether to pursue a complaint formally or informally, the wishes of the complainant will be taken into consideration.
Any investigation conducted by the Office of Equity and Diversity shall be initiated within fourteen (14) calendar days of the filing of a complaint. The complainant and the respondent(s) will be notified by the Office of Equity and Diversity of the initiation of the investigation. Upon completion of the investigation, the Associate Vice President for Equity and Diversity or his or her designee shall prepare a report setting forth findings of fact, a determination as to whether discriminatory conduct has occurred, and, if applicable, recommendations for addressing the discriminatory conduct.
Complaints against University Students:
Claims of discrimination or harassment by students shall be the addressed in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct and Statement of Disciplinary Procedures, set forth in the Student Handbook [see here: https://easternct.makekb.com/24/].'

We further outline our bias response strategy in the Student Handbook, where we state our promotion of pluralism our non-acceptance of intolerance, and our formal and informal resolution methods for complaints of discriminatory acts by students, faculty, or staff. Formal complaints are resolved through the above-described procedures. Complaints of offensive behavior that does not meet the "fighting words" test are referred to the Office of Equity and Diversity for informal resolution through mediation, conciliation, or education. Complaints resolved through this informal conciliation procedure do not result in a written record. (See more here: https://easternct.makekb.com/entry/319/)

The SIT, TAT, and SAIV-RT are additional resources that respond to and support the campus community:
-The purpose of the Student Intervention Team (SIT) is to provide a proactive approach to engaging students who may be at risk or in crisis. http://www.easternct.edu/studentaffairs/who-to-contact/

-In an effort to enhance already existing processes, the University has created a Threat Assessment Team (TAT) to complement the existing Student Intervention Team (SIT) to deal with concerning, troubled, and/or at risk faculty, staff, and students. The charge of these teams is to assess circumstances, enhance communication, and initiate appropriate responses to specific behavioral problems that may involve threats to the safety and security of the University community. http://www.easternct.edu/studentaffairs/tell-somebody/

-Eastern Connecticut State University’s Sexual Assault & Interpersonal Violence Response Team, also known as the SAIV-RT and designated by the Division of Student Affairs, is a campus community-based team. The SAIV-RT works comprehensively to respond to all forms of interpersonal violence, including, but not limited to sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking.
The team provides supportive options including, but not limited to, counseling, medical support, judicial and legal services, academic intervention, referrals, advocacy, and general information regarding sexual assault and interpersonal violence. The SAIV-RT provides a proactive and informed response to issues of interpersonal violence and is available to help anyone. On this website you will find many resources: definitions of interpersonal violence, the policies in place to protect students, faculty and staff, and the various steps you can take to if you or someone you know has experienced harassment or assault. http://www.easternct.edu/saiv/


Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit students from underrepresented groups?:
No

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit staff from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

Does the institution have programs specifically designed to recruit faculty from underrepresented groups?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to recruit students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Yes, in hiring for employees, the University provides procedures that include information on ensuring that pools of candidates are diverse. In addition, the Office of Equity and Diversity meets with all search committees to provide the search charge that all search committees maintain fairness and equity in the selection of candidates for on-campus interviews. Eastern's Affirmative Action Plan goes offers great detail on our communication and recruitment strategies, hiring goals, as well as other analyses; see the full plan here: http://www.easternct.edu/equityanddiversity/files/2017/07/AAPlan.pdf

Eastern has set search procedures, covering both faculty and staff, designed to ensure a smooth search process and to provide clear documentation of efforts undertaken by all to support affirmative action policy and goals.
Common steps in our search procedures include:
-Developing a search plan: The Search Plan identifies the search committee members, position description, strategies for advertising and strategies for obtaining applicant pool diversity.
-The Associate Vice President for Equity and Diversity will meet with the search committee to review affirmative action guidelines and university recruitment policies.
-The search committee will seek a diverse pool of candidates. The committee members are responsible for pursuing the recruitment strategies outlined in the search plan. Any recruitment efforts, including personal recruitment of candidates shall be documented for the Affirmative Action recruitment log.
See the full list of various search procedures here (with click-through links to detailed procedures by employment category): http://www.easternct.edu/equityanddiversity/search-procedures/

Eastern has minority recruitment and mentoring committees for members of both AAUP and SUOAF members. The goal of the mentoring committee is to match mentors with a SUOAF employee to facilitate their professional growth and development and help with their acclimation to Eastern. The Minority Recruitment Committee is responsible for assisting search committees to recruit members of minorities and other protected groups who are least represented at the University.

The Minority Recruitment and Mentoring Committee (MRMC-SUOAF) shall be charged with the responsibility for identifying and recommending qualified minority candidates to search committees after promotional process in Article 10 has been followed. The Minority Recruitment and Mentoring Committee shall ensure that mentoring arrangements are available for newly appointed minority employees. The mentors shall be charged with responsibility for enhancing the professional development of minority employees during the first 1-3years of their appointments. http://www.easternct.edu/mrmc/recruitment/

The Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee (MRRC-AAUP) shall be charged with assisting search committees to recruit members of minorities and other protected groups who are least represented in the bargaining unit ranks at the respective university, consistent with the principles of Affirmative Action; to assist the university in retaining such members; and to engage in such other actions as will effectuate the above purposes including the possibility of travel, mentoring, support for obtaining appropriate credentials, etc. http://www.easternct.edu/equityanddiversity/aaup-minority-recruitment-and-retention-progam/bylaw/


Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support, academic support, or other programs to support students from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support staff from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

Does the institution have mentoring, counseling, peer support or other programs to support faculty from underrepresented groups on campus?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support students, staff and/or faculty from underrepresented groups:

Eastern has several centers designed to support students, faculty, and staff from various underrepresented groups:

-The Intercultural Center is committed to enhancing the climate of cultural awareness and inclusion at Eastern Connecticut State University. The Intercultural Center strives to further the institutional mission by providing services that support, embrace and celebrate a myriad of cultures and identities. The Intercultural Center also encourages the collaboration of faculty and staff in engaging students to further cultural learning and student success. http://www.easternct.edu/interculturalcenter/

-The Pride Center provides an enriched, empowering, and accepting environment for all students, faculty, staff, and community members. Through educational, social, and community programming and initiatives, the Pride Center looks to create a culture of knowledge, advocacy, and inclusivity across campus. We work to ensure that our community members can safely explore their identities such as Race, class, a/gender, a/sexuality, etc. The Pride Center is a resource for education and support regarding LGBTQ+ issues on campus. http://www.easternct.edu/pridecenter/

-The Women’s Center is a safe space that serves to advance the personal growth and intellectual development of all students and staff, mainly by examining gender relations in today’s society. The Center hosts workshops and guest speakers throughout the year that discuss a variety of topics including body image, diversity in the media, reproductive health, and dating violence. While women are the primary focus of the Center’s work, programs also exist for male and gender non-conforming students. Everyone is welcome at the Center and encouraged to check out the upcoming events. http://www.easternct.edu/womenscenter/

-The Foundation for Campus Ministry (FCM) is a multi-faith organization dedicated to serving the spiritual needs of the University community. Currently there are Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, and Roman Catholic groups and clergy that are active on campus. The dedicated clergy of the FCM are from local faith communities and offer spiritual support and programming for the students, staff and faculty at Eastern. Knight House Multi-faith Center at 2 Windham Street Extension is the home of the Foundation for Campus Ministry. Groups representing several different faith traditions meet there throughout the week for prayer and study. http://www.easternct.edu/campusministry/

-The mission of Counseling and Psychological Services is to provide a resource for the students of Eastern who are in need of information, support, consultation and /or clinical intervention. Our services are designed to help students mature and work toward obtaining more fulfilling educational, vocational and personal lives during their time at Eastern and beyond. Although our primary goal is to serve the mental health and developmental needs of students, we also serve as a source of information, consultation and support to faculty and staff.
We are conscious of the special concerns you may have, whether you are a woman, man, student of color or other ethnic minority, gay, lesbian, or bisexual, a student with limitations, or an international student. Our staff is committed to being sensitive to your issues and to promote this sensitivity within the campus community and beyond. http://www.easternct.edu/counseling/

There are also several student clubs for various underrepresented groups, including (but not limited to) the Black Student Union, DiversAbility Club (for students with disabilities), Freedom at Eastern (serves undocumented/DACA-mented students and all students using dialogue, education, and activism), Organization of Latin American Students, Pride Alliance Club, and more.
See here for the full list of student organizations: http://www.easternct.edu/studentactivities/clubs-orgs/club-index/

Eastern has a Minority Recruitment and Mentoring Committee for members of both AAUP and SUOAF members. The goal of the Mentoring Committee is to match mentors with a SUOAF employee to facilitate their professional growth and development and help with their acclimation to Eastern. The Minority Recruitment Committee is responsible for assisting search committees to recruit members of minorities and other protected groups who are least represented at the University.

Support programs are available for faculty from underrepresented groups through the MRRC-AAUP and for administrative faculty through the MRMC-SUOAF. In both cases, the committees provide resources for recruitment and retention. Both committees have mentoring components. In addition, the Office of Equity and Diversity provides a mentoring program that covers all new faculty.

The primary goal of the MRMC-SUOAF mentoring committee is to match mentors (SUOAF members who have been employed at the University for several years) with newly hired SUOAF minority employees in order to facilitate their professional growth and development and to help them in their acclimation to the University. Mentors are encouraged to maintain regular contact with their mentees. This contact includes both on and off-campus meetings. In addition, there is generally at least one on-campus group activity each semester, which includes all mentors, mentees and committee members. It is our belief that this mentoring relationship can assist new employees in their adjustment to the University, and can also provide a supportive environment for their professional development.
http://www.easternct.edu/mrmc/mentoring/

The Minority Recruitment and Retention Committee (MRRC-AAUP) shall be charged with assisting search committees to recruit members of minorities and other protected groups who are least represented in the bargaining unit ranks at the respective university, consistent with the principles of Affirmative Action; to assist the university in retaining such members; and to engage in such other actions as will effectuate the above purposes including the possibility of travel, mentoring, support for obtaining appropriate credentials, etc. http://www.easternct.edu/equityanddiversity/aaup-minority-recruitment-and-retention-progam/bylaw/


Does the institution have training and development programs, teaching fellowships and/or other programs that specifically aim to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s programs to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups for careers as faculty members:

Eastern Connecticut State University partakes in a national partnership program for growing the state’s teaching force. The Holmes Master’s Program is designed to attract and prepare educational change agents from historically underrepresented populations. The initiative is the first of its kind within the region and reflects a partnership with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s Holmes Scholars Program. The inaugural cohort of Holmes Master’s students enrolled in the summer of 2016, comprised of Holmes Master’s Research Assistants and Holmes Master’s Graduate Assistants.
Learn more: http://www.easternct.edu/graduate/holmes-masters-program/

The Minority Teacher Incentive Grant and Weisman Scholarship Provides $5,000 per year for final two years of study for minority juniors and seniors planning to teach in Connecticut public schools. Also provides eligible students up to $2,500 in annual stipends for first four years of teaching. http://www.easternct.edu/fellowships/education-and-teaching-scholarships/

We also offer general scholarships and fellowships for underrepresented populations: http://www.easternct.edu/fellowships/awards-for-specific-populations/


Does the institution produce a publicly accessible inventory of gender-neutral bathrooms on campus?:
No

Does the institution offer housing options to accommodate the special needs of transgender and transitioning students?:
Yes

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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This section was completed using information from meeting with Dr. Stacey Close.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.